A good rest is as important as hard work.
Long-distance hiking requires unwavering repetition; eat, walk, sleep and repeat—life is that joyously simple. However, at certain times the balance can go out of whack; some days you must walk longer distances, while others will be spent devouring extra calories. On Day 54, it was time to reclaim some all-important rest. From the day’s 24 hours, 14 of them were consumed by sleep.
Heysen Trail Diary – Day 54
After an especially long Day 53, a considerably shorter stretch on Day 54 was just what the doctor ordered—although, the region’s merciless slopes were not on the prescription. The unrelenting journey captured the very essence of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula’s characteristically hilly terrain, with the vegetation-rich Myponga Conservation Park especially congested with devastating gradients.
The Heysen Trail’s inspirational views, which typically recharged my hiking batteries, did not have the same effect. I had absorbed these same sweeping sights in abundance over the past week and, as a result, my brain wouldn’t hit the reset button and my endurance evaporated.
I arrived in Inman Valley around 4 pm—far too early to feel this exhausted, but my body had reached the end of its tether. I rolled into the excessively-named, but extraordinarily-generous, Inman Valley General Store & Country Kitchen Cafe and overdosed on a deep-fried feast.
Glacier Rock, located in the heart of Inman Valley, is one of the world’s largest glacial relics dating back 500 million years.
Kate, the proprietor of the shop and committee member of the nearby Inman Valley Memorial Hall, recognised my weathered hiker’s appearance and offered the town’s grass-lined hall as a campground for the night. I had planned to keep trucking through to Robinson Hill Campsite, but the proposed 5 fewer kilometres was too good to refuse. I ordered dessert to go and hauled my rucksack across the busy road and into the vacated carpark.
It wasn’t long before I had completed my bedtime routine and slipped into unconsciousness. Despite the vast amounts of sun still beaming through the region, I was lights out. Every part of my being was drained and I would need every second of rest before another uphill battle on Day 55.
All the details.
Trail distance covered
Cool damp winters with light to heavy showers and some days of rain. The coastal section is prone to fog and misty rain but is warmer than the inland ranges during winter. The ranges are wetter and cooler during winter but are warmer during autumn and spring. Summers are warm to hot and relatively dry.
More hills than not en route to Inman Valley.